I think I just ordered the wrong breeds - any suggestions for me?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Oregonbeek, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Oregonbeek

    Oregonbeek Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I am wanting about 30 chickens for a purely egg-laying flock. Meat production doesn't matter to me at all. I also want to be able to keep a few roosters on standby to be able to reproduce the flock if I should so desire to.

    I went out and placed an order for pearl white leghorns, black sex-links and red sex-links because they are basically the three best egg-laying breeds that there are. I had read that because those are hyrbids they wouldn't breed true which I figured meant that they wouldn't retain the same colors of their parents. I don't really care how they look however so that didn't bother me. BUT, now I believe I'm finding that their offspring won't lay nearly as well as the parents. So my question for people who have bred these three breeds of chickens is just how bad is their egg production drop-off? Do they lay as well as their grandparents? (like the road island reds that created the sex links)? Or does the production drop off even worse than the road island reds?


    I would love to know what people think of this!

    I'm wondering if I should cancel my order and find some purebreds or maybe just add a good purebred breed to go with these.

    I'm looking for about 5 breeds of hens, and 2-3 breeds of roosters that would throw the absolute best egg-laying chicks as possible.

    Thank you!!
     
  2. Bo Garrett

    Bo Garrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What you will be trying to reproduce is the egg laying ability not the color, the pearl leghorns will reproduce true to breed the sex links will not. However, when breeding them select the best layers and breed the the most vigorous male which will probably be a leghorn these should produce birds that lay as well as their parents. If color is not the main objective then you have chosen well and should have many eggs when they come into production.

    Bo
     
  3. Oregonbeek

    Oregonbeek Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Thank you Bo. So perhaps I should cancel the sex link males and perhaps breed the best hens to pearl white roosters? Or maybe throw in a road island red rooster (or another good egg laying breed)?

    I'm aiming for great egg production in the present (with sex links and pearl white leghorns), but also want to be able to pull off a 2nd and 3rd generation of great egg layers if I want to breed them as well.

    I basically want a good group of hens, with a "stud" group of males if I want to start a 2nd and 3rd generation.
     
  4. Oregonbeek

    Oregonbeek Out Of The Brooder

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    It sounds like pearl white leghorns are perfectly fine to breed and their offspring run true to breed. So now I'm just trying to figure out what to do with the sex links.

    I cancelled my order and placed a new order. I got rid of the sex link males, dialed back the females a bit, and added some road island reds.

    I guess I'll be finding out what happens when you breed sex link females to either pearl white leghorns or to road island reds. [​IMG]
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I used brown leghorn roosters over my mixed flock of layers to boost egg production in the offspring. I do eat my excess cockerals but am willing to have a smaller carcass to have better production in the females.

    I've thought about using a sex link roo, it just makes sense to me if the parents are good layers the offspring will be, also.

    You might look for Fred's Hens post about breeding sex links down to the third generation. He started with ISA browns and tracked their production pretty well, it was a great post and also showed how the birds color out (not quite like you'd think!)
     
  6. Bo Garrett

    Bo Garrett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, I would order the pullets and get Leghorn males to breed to them. Much like raising dairy cattle, you can have good milking cows that produce 80-100 lbs of milk per day but if you breed them to a bull from a poor producing dam and sire then you can expect the milk production in the next generation to decrease. Leghorns are by far the best layers and are used in the commercial industry so using these as your "stud" males is a wise move and will increase your production and persistence of production. The leghorn will affect the egg color in the subsequent generations but shell color is just that, we aren't eating the shells!

    Bo
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    As far as shell color, my favorite current layers are ee/leghorn mixes. They're smallish hens who don't eat a ton but lay huge pretty light green or aqua eggs. They're 3 and 4 years old, I don't supplement light, and I get probably 3 eggs a week from each of them now, mid-winter.

    I also put those hens under my brown egg gened roo, and now have pullets that are laying cool olive drab eggs. Some have brown speckles, my sons call them camo eggs!
     
  8. Oregonbeek

    Oregonbeek Out Of The Brooder

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    I've got admit that I love different colored eggs! If I was going 100% only on egg volume I would just get pearl white leghorns, but I just can't help but throw in a few Easter Eggers and some dark brown egg layers. I also threw in a couple of those chocolate egg layers for fun as well, and if I had any idea where to find those dark blue egg layers I would get a few of those as well.

    So I guess that's kind of my plan in a nutshell... just get the absolute best egg-layers of a variety of colors and then have a couple pearl white leghorn roosters and a couple road island red roosters to act as "studs" if I ever need to breed them and produce offspring.

    I cancelled my black sex link roosters after reading that people have experienced losses in egg production in multiple generations of sex-link/sex-link breeding. Perhaps I would just breed my sex link hens to the white leg-horns and hope for better production than I would have gotten from pure sex-line breeding.


    Or perhaps I'm doing everything wrong [​IMG]. There's only one way to tell!
     

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